Former DSM Chair: DSM-5 “A Disaster,” Calls for APA Monopoly to End

Kermit Cole

Former DSM task force chairman Allen Frances reviews the rise of the DSM, crossing over from a research instrument to to a popular bestseller and leading to "faddish over-diagnosis of autism, attention deficit disorders and bipolar disorder in children ... and is accorded the authority of a bible in areas well beyond its competence." He accuses the APA of "stubbornly refusing to subject the (DSM-5) proposals to independent scientific review." The article appears in the New York Times.

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Newsflash from APA Meeting: DSM-5 Has Flunked Its Reliability Tests (Huffington Post)
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First DSM-5 Field Trials Generate Mixed Results (Medscape Today)
Psychiatry Manual Drafters Back Down on Diagnoses (New York Times)

Related "In the News" Items:
Former DSM Chair: DSM-5 “A Disaster,” Calls for APA Monopoly to End
APA Proposes Alternative to Juvenile Bipolar
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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, is foundling editor of Mad in America. He worked in residential treatment with a focus on trauma & psychosis for many years before attending the first Open Dialogue trainings offered in the US. There he experienced the beauty and power of a network rather than an individual focus, and as a result came to love working with couples. He works at the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia, with an interest in couples and families that have "identified patients," but doesn't discriminate against people who are thought of as "normal."

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  1. Check out the Frances video on MIA but listen near the end and hear Dr. Frances’ views on the future of psychiatry. I’m hoping some of our psychiatrists bloggers will weigh in. Summary version: He absolutely believes there’s a need for psychiatrists going forward. He thinks all of us need to start paying more attention to “severe mental illnesses” not mild to moderate ones where there’s no evidence that meds help. So, for all the things Frances says that I agree with, I’m still wondering about the distinctions he’s making, it’s one I hear NAMI make a lot. “You’re not saying Schizophrenia isn’t a real illness are you?” “What about Severe Depression (Melancholia – great visual movie by the way), that’s real right?” Anyway, hope folks get a chance to watch and respond.